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Superintendent's District Update - August 2017

Falls City Public Schools Superintendent’s District Update – August 2017

The Falls City Public Schools held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, August 14, 2017. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

ALICAP Safety Honor Roll: The Falls City Public Schools is being recognized as one of the 2016-2017 Safety Honor Roll school districts in the ALICAP pool. The award recognizes the district’s effective and proactive efforts in promoting safety. The loss control consultants select their top 10% of schools during their annual safety audit visits.  The district is required to have a “Safety-Atmosphere” top to bottom, central office to classroom to classroom.  Our loss control consultant noted the Falls City Public Schools exemplifies those qualities. 

Curriculum & Professional Development Update: Kris Ogle presented information on the new Nebraska Science Standards draft to come out for review in September of 2017. The district’s math curriculum and textbook adoption process will occur during the current school year. A report on the 2017-2018 professional development priorities was reviewed with the Board of Education and included staff development discussion on the district’s High Impact Instructional Strategies Partnership with ESU4. Additionally, plans for attending the Nebraska Paraeducator Conference October 10 in Kearney with representation from all the district’s schools will provide a valuable learning opportunity for FCPS paraeducators. Kris Ogle will be presenting on the topic of poverty at the State Paraeducator Conference.

Continuous School Improvement & District Goals: We are looking forward to the start of this new school year and for FCPS to be part of the Southeast Community College SENCAP career academies program. The career academies and the SCC faculty will be helping to provide an exciting learning opportunity for our juniors and seniors, and providing the opportunity for our students to be successful and to have a great learning experience. Students in SENCAP get half of their tuition covered by SCC and the district will cover the remaining half of the tuition for our students in the SENCAP program through the Perkins grant funds and other state revenue sources. 

e-Funds for Schools On-Line Payments System: This unique program has been designed specifically for schools and can be implemented at virtually no cost to the school. The program allows parents to pay the school by having their personal checking account or credit card electronically debited, thereby eliminating checks and cash they now send to the school with their children; saving the school time and money. The program has a fully automated collection, tracking, and recording of funds received for all school functions. e-Funds for Schools also includes an interface into the school's accounting system. Student activity and payment history reports are standard. Cash flow projections and payment forecasting reports are also included. The district expects the on-line payment system to be up and running by early fall 2017.

School Board Policy Planning on 3112 Use of Sniffer Dogs: Many schools have decided to use trained “sniffer dogs” to conduct “sniff searches” of vehicles on school grounds, school lockers used by students, and other items or areas at the school.  Schools have the authority to use sniffer dogs to conduct sniff searches in many, if not most, circumstances.  One exception is the use of a dog to sniff a student or staff member.  It is unlawful to allow the dog(s) to sniff people. The tougher questions are whether the school should implement the use of sniffer dogs and, if so, how the program should be implemented.  The policy under review policy includes the school district attorney’s recommended procedures in the event that the school decides to use sniffer dogs. Furthermore, we plan to incorporate this protocol in our student and staff handbooks moving forward.

Personnel Update: A review of the 2017-2018 new faculty and staff as well as those individuals accepting new roles with FCPS includes:

High School

Audrey Pedersen - Mathematics

Kati Buckminster – Administrative Assistant

Middle School

Anna Thompson – Nutrition Services

Dawn Moorehead – Nutrition Services

South School

Leigh Anne Blankenship – 4th Grade Teacher

Hannah Petersen – Teacher – 3rd Grade Teacher                

North School

Jessica Fischer – Special Education Teacher

Diane Wing – SPED Paraprofessional

Debbie Jarred – SPED Paraprofessional

Internal Transfers

Anne Crofford – District Treasurer

Shelly Leyden - North School Principal 

Mike Rolfe – High School SPED Paraprofessional

Paula Fritz – South School Custodian

Stephanie Simpson – Central Office Administrative Assistant

Kim Nolte – High School/Middle School FACS

Kris Ogle – Curriculum & Professional Development

Susan Johnson – Sixpence Director

Charity Zimmerman – HS/MS Library Aide

Extra Duty

Wendy Craig – School Improvement Co-Chair and Special Education Coordinator

Jason Vitosh – High Ability Learner Coordinator

Funds Transfer to Depreciation (ICI) Fund: The Depreciation Fund is supported by end-of-the-year transfers from the General Fund. The Depreciation Fund supports the annual textbook and technology plan, and has also been used to replace depreciated items such as the band and choir uniforms at the high school. The fund provides an avenue to support the eventual purchase of costly capital outlay by reserving such monies from the General Fund. The transfer from the General Fund to the Depreciation Fund will be $140,000.

Building & Grounds Update: The discussion surrounding a facility update at the high school focused on the band/choir rooms and the welding/woods trades classrooms continue. The project committee will be taking a closer look at these projects and analyzing construction delivery methods that best suit the school district’s needs. Furthermore, community input, project design, financing options and a possible partnership with the Southeast Community College Learning Center all play major roles in developing a timeline and moving a project forward. Nearly all projects scheduled for completion over the summer months are wrapping up.

Action Items

1) Approved First Reading of Policy Adoption 3112 Use of Sniffer Dogs.

2) Approved a $.50 per hour wage increase in 2017-2018 for classified employees.